All You Need To Know About 'Ugly Trainers', The Sneaker Obsession That's Here To Stay

They're big, they're bold, they're thick-soled - and they're not going anywhere in a hurry

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At first they were dismissed as Just Another Fleeting Trend, a one-season obsession that was bound to go the way of extra-long sleeves (they had a couple of years to be fair), enormous puffer jackers and tiny sunglasses — crazes that only really caught on amongst a certain kind of encyclopedic fashion obsessive, and even then, not for very long.

Of course, there were outliers: Raf Simons and adidas has a popular ongoing style, the Ozweego, a trainer you might see on the feet of buyers, stylists and beautiful hangers-on at Paris and London Fashion weeks. Vetements and Reebok, too - but again, nothing you could describe as wide-reaching. Not the kind of trainers you'd see on many actual people's feet or online wishlists.

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But then the Balenciaga Triple S was released this autumn, and the 'Ugly Trainer' trend blew up.

Thanks to the esteemed Spanish house of haute couture that's been transformed into the fashion industry's most influential modern tastemaker under the guidance of Demna Gvasalia, the Georgian Creative Director (who also happens to front Vetements), the 'Ugly Trainer' has stomped its way from the Palais de Tokyo to the look books and window displays of every and any self-respecting Cool Brand™.

They're the trainers your dad wears to Homebase ("just fancied some more cladding, really"), but on high fashion steroids. A stylishly-distressed hodgepodge of retro colours, panels and shapes. A shoe that's been designed inside a house of mirrors and then released in numbers so limited that in some instances, you have to register just for the right to buy them (£595, please). They've split opinion, dominated internet comments sections and even been imitated by high street brand Zara - a sure sign of a move into the zeitgeist.

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An on-foot reflection of fashion's steady move away from the slim and skinny silhouette of the last 10 years towards a wider, looser, chunkier aesthetic, if they're your kind of thing, Ugly Trainers look best under two other big trends for this autumn and winter, namely wide-leg trousers with a crop that finishes above the ankle, or fashionable sweatpants for that very 'in' athleisure look.

Take a look below at 8 of this A/W's most popular styles.

Are you brave enough?

Raf Simons x Adidas Ozweego III Leather, Canvas And Satin Sneakers, £285, mrporter.com

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Our Legacy Mono Runners, £349, endclothing.com

Vetements x Reebok Genetically Modified Pump Suede And Leather Sneakers, £750, mrporter.com

Filling Pieces Denver Leather Sneakers, £220, mrporter.com

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Balenciaga Triple S, £595, matchesfashion.com

adidas Originals by Alexander Wang Run Shoes, £159.95, adidas.co.uk

Prada Linea Rossa Rubber-Panelled Mesh Sneakers, £490, mrporter.com

And finally: The crown prince; the OG trendsetter; the undisputed, blue-jean-accompanying, DIY-loving champion of the dad/ugly trainer. The hefty, cushioned wheels of Pragmatic Chic; the pre-Balenciaga, pre-fame, prehistoric runners that every trendy designer should pay unrestrained reverence to....

The Nike Air Monarch.

Nike Air Monarch IV, £47.95, nike.com

If you're really brave, you'd do it.

Or just save up and pray to the immaculate trainer gods for a blessing in the form of an in stock pair of Balenciaga Triple S's.

Either or.